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Mistakes concerning Religion,
THOMAS HARTLEY. A. M.
Rector of WINWICK ia Nortbamptonshire.
GERMANTOWN reprinted by CHRISTOPHER
THE main Design of the Sacred Writings is to
bring us accquainted with our loft State, under the Corruption
and Apostacy of the Human Nature by the Fall, and with our Redemption by Jesus Christ. The Rules and Precepts laid down both in the Law and the Gospel were given primarily to reftrain us from Sin, as it was the Occasion of our Ruin, so, if continued in, will be the certain Hindrance of our Recovery: And the Doctrines therein contained instruct us in the Nature of that Grace which bringeth Salvation, and teach us to turn to it as our only Help and Remedy: Thus in refraining from Evil, and being subject to Grace, we are in the way of practical and acceptable Obedience to all God's Commands. To deny that Man is by Nature wretched and sinful, argues extreme Ignorance or Perverseness, and to affirm that he came such out of the Hands of his Creator, is to contradict the Testimony of the Scriprures, and to charge God both foolishly and impioully: To deny therefore Original Sin, in the Sense of our Church, is the most complicated of Heresies, as it makes void the Covenant of Grace, and faps the Foundation of revealed Religion. Every one carries in his own Bosom a Witness to the Truth of this Doctrine, as every one finds in himself, in a greater or less degree, a want of due Love both to God and his Neighbour.
The Gospel of Christ is a Dispensation of Peace, graciously calculated to reconcile us both to God and one another, but how it has failed in general of these blelled Effects, through the prevailing Power of Corruption and Sin, let the Annals of Church History testify, which inform us how often Christendom has been rurned into a Field of Blood, and represent the horrid Barbarities of Christians, so called, towards their Brethren, as equalling, and in some Instances exceeding, the tyranA 2